THOUGHTS FROM ILOTT, LUNDGAARD AND AITKEN
FIA Formula 2: Hello and welcome to the press conference with the top three finishers in today's FIA Formula 2 Feature Race here at Silverstone. We are joined by race winner Callum Ilott for UNI-Virtuosi, in second place is Christian Lundgaard for ART Grand Prix, and third is Jack Aitken for Campos Racing. Callum, that was a pretty dominant display out there. Just how good did the car feel today?
Callum Ilott: It's difficult to say because of the wind. It's been different to how it was last weekend, and yesterday. I think a lot of struggled in the high-speed at the start of the race and toward the end. I got the start right. Dan (Ticktum) got a very good start too and came up behind me. I felt like I'd done a good enough start, but clearly, he got a mega launch. The first stint was good. I had to extend it another lap. That was always the plan because of where we are in the pit lane. We're the first ones, so if everyone comes in on Lap 6 I'll never get out because all the train would come through. I had a clear run out of the pits. I think I pulled a little bit of extra time on Christian, and then tried to put a decent lap in to increase the gap and then maintained it from there. Not a bad effort, I think.
FIA Formula 2: It was a pretty strong advantage at the end. Are you surprised by the advantage over the rest of the field today, or did you have signs you could pull out this sort of performance from last weekend?
Callum: To be honest, I think if I had not made those mistakes last weekend it would have been a bigger advantage. The other guys caught up a little bit from whatever we had last weekend. Still, I think the advantage I made was really on the first stint and the pit stop. The rest I just maintained. I think they were close for sure. It definitely wasn't easy today. It was sliding around a lot.
FIA Formula 2: Well done today. Christian, moving on to you. A solid second place, your second in a row. Did you not quite have the pace to challenge Callum today?
Christian Lundgaard: No. I would say that we're struggling and I'm still P2. It doesn't make any sense. It looks like they're in a different world. Callum was quick today. After my mistake, even before it, I thought my pace was quite good. It just didn't seem like I was catching up to Callum and I was sitting there in a weird position, thinking 'I'm pushing, max out now, and I'm not catching.' But, it's obviously 18 points, and I'm not complaining.
FIA Formula 2: Yesterday you said that your preview prediction was right - that you were second in Qualifying. How does your preview prediction match up with this result?
Christian: It didn't match up.
FIA Formula 2: What was the preview prediction then?
Christian: Where Callum is sitting.
Callum: It was close!
Christian: Yeah, it was. It's still a podium.
FIA Formula 2: Were surprised by the advantage Callum had then?
Christian: Looking at last week, we kind of expected it. I thought maybe we would have caught up a bit more. We knew Callum was quick last week - starting from the pit and still finishing P5 was impressive. I was surprised it was that big.
FIA Formula 2: Still, well done today. Another solid second place. Jack, you were saying yesterday that you thought this could be a tough race for you and we'd have to see how the car panned out. Are you delighted with third place?
Jack Aitken: Yeah, I'm pretty happy. It's quite difficult to overtake around here at the moment. We saw that last weekend. After things shook out from the pit stops and all that, it was just about maintaining the gaps and trying to manage the tyres. That was not an easy task. I think out pace was pretty good. Christian got away a little bit and then came back towards the end with his mistake, but I thought we were pretty good and relatively in control. I'm pretty happy.
FIA Formula 2: A Feature Race podium. Do you feel more competitive in race trim this weekend than you have been, or is it more a product of starting further up this weekend?
Jack: I think we're definitely more competitive, but obviously starting further up helps a lot. You're not fighting in the traffic towards the back where it can be a bit more difficult and messier. You can have a cleaner run. I think our race pace has taken a step forwards as well, as Christian has said, we obviously have a little bit still to go to catch the best guys, but nothing that can't be done.
FIA Formula 2: Thank you very much. Callum, just returning to you. Given how strong you've been in terms of race pace at this circuit, and how you went today as well, how high can you set your targets for tomorrow's Sprint Race?
Callum: These guys are not slow. As much as they say there may be an advantage, they're definitely not slow. I was pushing at the end. Getting a good start and gaining a couple of positions... obviously last weekend I was on it and should have really made the most of it but didn't. We'll see how it pans out. I reckon I could gain a couple of positions, but if we have the pace we did compared to them last week then maybe a few more. It's more about points now. I've set a good benchmark today, and tomorrow I'll just carry on.